Updated Return to Campus Guidance for Spring Semester

Dear Saint Mary’s Community,

In preparation for the start of the spring semester on February 7, we would like to provide you with updated guidelines to follow in advance of returning to campus.

Though the Omicron COVID-19 variant continues to play a role in everyday life, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) project that the winter surge will begin to lessen as spring arrives. With that in mind, Saint Mary’s continues to make every effort to mitigate any impact COVID may have on Spring Term instruction.

  • All undergraduate students, as well as graduate students on the semester calendar whose instruction begins in February, are required to provide proof of a negative COVID test taken 48 hours or less before returning to campus in order to attend classes, access campus facilities, and return to the residence halls. As was the case during the return in January, students may upload proof of their negative test by clicking the link below.

    • Graduate students whose instruction began in January for the Winter Quarter and Winter Trimester are not required to submit additional negative test results.


  • Saint Mary’s will make rapid antigen tests available for all students (graduate students as well as undergraduates) to pick up from Tuesday, January 25th through Friday, January 28th. Test distribution is limited to one test kit per student. Students may pick up their test kit beginning Tuesday at 9 a.m. (tests available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) outside the Health & Wellness Center. Rapid antigen tests will also be made available to faculty and staff soon, and more details on pickup times and locations will be provided via MySMC when they become available.
  • If you test positive OR do not feel well, report it to the SMC COVID-19 Online Portal. Do not return to campus.

    • Submitting your status to the online portal will allow the College to contact faculty on your behalf. Note that no health information will be shared.

    • The College will have resources available to work with you if you require accommodations related to COVID-19.

    • If you think you may be sick, here is a list of suggested actions to take.

  • The United States Postal Service also offers a free test kit to all households and they are scheduled to begin shipping in late January. To request your kit, click here

    • Students may use their campus P.O. Box address to have tests delivered.

  • Students are responsible for securing your own tests, either from the College before you leave for Jan Term break, or on your own during the break, prior to returning to campus. Saint Mary’s will not be holding return-to-campus screening testing during the first week of the semester. 

  • In accordance with Contra Costa County health orders, masks remain required in all indoor spaces on campus until further notice. N95 and KN95 masks are highly recommended

  • Booster shots remain one of the most effective ways to stay protected and are highly recommended. To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment or booster shot, visit the state’s MyTurn app or website. You may also schedule an appointment through Contra Costa Health Services by visiting its online portal or calling 1-833-829-2626. Local pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens also offer booster shot appointments. As a reminder, individuals who have received their booster shot are the only individuals who do not need to go into quarantine after exposure to a positive case. All others must go into quarantine for 10 days with the option of testing out after day 5 with a negative test.

Due to the rapidly changing nature of the pandemic, we will continue to provide updates on procedures and protocols when available. For additional information, please visit the COVID-19 FAQ page. Thank you for your continued efforts as we work towards a safe and successful return to campus.

In community,

Saint Mary’s College COVID-19 Coordinating Council